Chandni Chowk is India’s most polluted residential area.
Despite phasing out six-seater tuk-tuks, reduction of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the city and measures to cut congestion, new pollution watchdog data on India’s ambient air quality shows Chandni Chowk as the most polluted residential area in 2007.
Vehicle movement have taken NO2 levels to 82 micro grams/ cubic metre. The national standard is 60
banned for a short period last year are back. They increase SPM through dust.
Chandni Chowk has partly reached the top slot because pollution in other areas has reduced considerably.
The increasing congestion and heavy vehicular movement in the Walled City has got it the dubious distinction of ‘most polluted residential area’ for NO2 and suspended particulate matter (SPM) pollutants, compared to 326 other Indian locations.
Adding to the pollution are diesel vehicles plying in the area. Cycle rickshaws banned for a short period last year are back on the area’s congested kuchas. Although rickshaws don’t emit fumes, they increase SPM levels through the dust they generate.
The area which inspired Chandni Chowk to China featuring Akshay Kumar and the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Delhi 6, has displaced the ITO traffic island as Delhi’s most polluted.
“Air quality in Chandni Chowk has marginally deteriorated but it has reached top slot because pollution in other areas had witnessed a downward trend at the same time,” said a Central Pollution Control Board official.
Average NO2 levels at Chandni Chowk’s Town Hall monitoring station, were 82 micro grams per cubic metre against the national standard of 60.
In SPM, the average level of 476-micro gram per cubic metre at Town Hall was four times the national standard.
In 71 percent locations, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, the average SPM level was higher than the national standards of 140 ugm3.